Ali famously said, ‘I’m the greatest.’
Jesus, more famously, said, ‘He who is the greatest isn’t.’
Both are invitations to us, the observer. What’s important is where each leads.
The first is a cul-de-sac. It’s a trick. It doesn’t actually go anywhere. Like a company built completely around a famous founder who messes up or dies. When he goes, everything he built goes with him.
The second is a catalyst. It’s not a solution, it’s a path. And the path isn’t to be better than the others, it’s to help them.
The turnabout is what Jesus goes on to say.
“Whoever humbles himself like [a] child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4).
Which, honestly, is a much better (and easier) option.